Canyon Loop is a hiking, biking, and horse trail in Boulder County, Colorado. It is 3.2 miles long and begins at 6,490 feet altitude. Traveling the entire trail is 2.8 miles with a total elevation gain of 639 feet. The Betasso Preserve Shelter picnic site can be seen along the trail. There is also parking along the trail.
Betasso Preserve Canyon Loop Professional Reviews and Guides
"This short hike is close to Boulder, but tucked far enough west to offer seclusion. Located in the Betasso Preserve, home to a wide variety of plant and animal life and age-old geological formations, this 3.2-mile loop is maintained by Boulder County Parks and Open Space, which ensures a well-maintained and easily accessible trail all year long.
From dense trees and gullies to open meadows and sweeping vistas, this rolling landscape offers the beautiful views and mellow climate that is so characteristic of the foothills of the Rocky Mountains."
--Steve Johnson & David Weinstein, Best Loop Hikes Colorado (The Mountaineers Books).
"This land 6 miles west of Boulder was not homesteaded until 1912, three years later becoming a cattle ranch operated by the Betasso family. Now operated by Boulder County Parks and Open Space, Betasso Preserve features deer instead of cows. The vigorous Canyon Loop Trail crosses ?owered ?elds, a lush streambed, a dense forest, and a meadow as it loops around the junction of Boulder and Fourmile canyons."
--Maureen Keilty , Best Hikes with Kids Colorado (The Mountaineers Books).
"The open meadows and forested ravines between Fourmile Canyon and Boulder Canyon make up Betasso Preserve. The Canyon Loop Trail wanders in and out of ravines that stretch toward the high plains-if Grandma's House were at trail's end, this would be a fairy-tale "through the woods" experience. About half the trail wanders through Douglas fir on north-facing slopes; this forest is host to gorgeous wildflowers in spring. Must of the rest of the trail is shaded by the vanilla-scented ponderosa pine, which grow above a carpet of lush grass and flowers."
--Tracy Salcedo, 12 Short Hikes in the Boulder Foothills (Falcon Guides).
"Canyon Loop Trail is located in Boulder County’s historic Betasso Preserve, which was an 1870s mining and sawmill town. This wellmaintained hike is easy to find and close to Boulder. Half the trail traverses meadows with Douglas fir trees on north-facing slopes. The rest of the trail is shaded by ponderosa pines and lined with moss-covered boulders."
--Kim Lipker, 60 Hikes within 60 Miles: Denver and Boulder (Menasha Ridge Press).
"Although short in distance, this trail has a fair amount of climbing on narrow single track. Try two or more laps if you want to get more miles in, or ride to it from Boulder to get a really good workout. It reminds me of a shortened version of Apex Park. The trail has recently been designated as a one-way ride for mountain bikers. Check at the trailhead to see which direction we bikers are restricted. Terrain: Smooth, narrow single track.Drop north from the parking area, pass through a fence and pickup the Canyon Loop Trail. Begin a short climb, passing through another fence (0.2) before starting the descent portion of the ride. This trail has some ruts and loose soil, so check your speed. After crossing the second of two small brooks (1.5), begin the final climb back to the start. As the trail turns back west from an overlook (2.2), climb to a second parking lot where a road takes you back to the start or continue on the wide path to complete the loop (2.9)."
--Tom Barnhart, Front Range Single Tracks (Fat Tire Press).
"The city of Boulder and the county of Boulder have done an amazing job of preserving lands in and around the city, and Betasso Preserve is one of the many open space lands that citizens of Boulder County and the Front Range can use. This hike is a nice outing through forests of ponderosa pines on a smooth well-maintained trail."
--Bob D Antonio, Hiking Colorado's Front Range (Falcon Guides).
"An exceptional trail that winds through ponderosa pine forest, meadows, streams and provides many scenic views of the canyons below. Very popular with bikers, so run this trail on Saturdays and Wednesdays when they are not allowed in the preserve. Grade: A scattering of rocky sections, and some sand near the parking area. Assuming a clockwise loop, the trail drops throughout the first half of the run, is flat for a short time, and regains the elevation loss during the final mile."
--Steven Bragg, Run The Rockies: Classic Trail Runs in Colorado's Front Range (Colorado Mountain Club Press).
"Betasso Preserve delivers a short, but sweet ride and offers much to riders of any ability. The wide and smooth singletrack of the Canyon Loop Trail is ideal for beginners wanting to test their singletrack mettle. The loop also invites riders with more experience to run laps past open meadows awash with wildflowers and through cooler ponderosa pine forests. Being so close to Boulder, Betasso Preserve offers an immediate getaway from the hectic pace of Boulder during rush hour. The preserve has been the subject of much public scrutiny and environmental impact studies in the last few years, reminding us to respect our parks, open spaces, and forests. Terrain: Singletrack and doubletrack that roll over open meadows and hard-packed forest terrain."
--Stephen Hlawaty, Mountain Biking Colorado's Front Range (Falcon Guides).
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